University of New Orleans Poetry Prize, 2016

Your Title Could Be Doing A lot More

by Jessica Morey-Collins

Like whoring the poem out for a smidge of winter cozy
with some rich gentleman who has a whole hall of perfect tits
displayed at his vacation home (for skiing). Each lovely mound,
with its aptly sized nipple, is centered on a mahogany plaque—exactly
complemented to the plush green paint of the hallway walls, mahogany
plaque exactly matched to the mountain-lush paneling. Or, your title
could set the poem a quiver—like a perfect-titted woman whose jiggles
are almost explosive in their perfection. Or, your title could trace a tit-
shape on a frost-covered window, for instance. Or for instance your title
could contradict itself, it could assess a flesh mound as both perfection
and not-perfection—the two concepts in perfect tension as pure
silliness, really, right? It’s just fat under a nipple! your teenaged
self argues, before more fully exploring her bisexuality
and concluding that tits are a genuinely exceptional
good time.
                                    Or maybe the title could take itself
for a nice, calming walk—after all, it’s a lovely day, with winter
just distant enough that all the nipples are hard but not yet diamond
cutting or mythical skyward spires or hehe are you smuggling candies in your bra?
Really, it’s silly for your title to get so worked up about tits at all—don’t you
think? Even you, who’s come to love them so voluptuously in all of their wild
variety. Winter’s been holding off a pinch longer this year, hovering like frost
-glittering lips above a nipple. Maybe your title should stay in for the evening,
get warm and clean for an earlier sleep. Maybe it should wash its own tits
and swaddle them in pajamas. Anyway, if the poem quivered it would
be more like a jello-mold than like a startled breast, I bet.
Maybe your title could forget about tits altogether.

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